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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 01-06-05

Cyprus Press and Information Office: Turkish Cypriot Press Review Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>

TURKISH PRESS AND OTHER MEDIA No. 104/01 2,3,4,5/6/01

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Turkey's Plan for Partial Integration of the occupied areas
  • [02] Mesut Yilmaz Briefs Denktash on NSC Decision
  • [03] Akinci and Talat Comment on EU Accession
  • [04] Talat Rejects Turkish NSC Decision
  • [05] Azerbaijan is said to be ready to recognise the pseudostate
  • [06] English Baroness says that Denktash is the only person who prevents the solution in Cyprus
  • [07] Denktash to address the Turkish Grand National Assembly
  • [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

  • [08] Turkey is formulating a new policy over Cyprus
  • [09] Turkish Columnist Criticizes Denktash's Policy on Cyprus
  • [10] Turkish Prime Minister criticized for 'Not Seeing Realities' in Cyprus

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Turkey's Plan for Partial Integration of the occupied areas

    Reporting in Istanbul Radikal (1/6/01) under the title "A Veiled Warning", Deniz Zeyrek writes:

    "Turkey is taking steps towards integration with the ÔRNC in response to progress that the Greek Cypriot Administration has made in its accession talks with the EU. A decree designed to clear the way for implementation of the Cyprus Action Plan, which the NSC [National Security Council] had decided to recommended to the cabinet for implementation in its last meeting, has been submitted to cabinet for ratification. The decree will permit the TRNC to fully integrate with Turkey from financial and economic standpoint while there will be a partial integration in the security and defense fields.

    TRNC citizens will be granted Turkish citizenship

    According to the first phase of the plan, TRNC citizens, who are presently classified in consular documents as individuals of Turkish origin and permitted to live in Turkey for maximum two years, will be excluded from this category. Under the integration plan TRNC citizens will be treated as Turkish citizens and they will be able to obtain Turkish passports and have their terms extended by Turkish embassies. They will also be permitted to live in Turkey for five years without being required to file any application. The requirement for transferring $50,000 as a precondition for doing business in Turkey has also been abolished.

    TRNC will be eighty second province, but...

    According to the plan, the TRNC will de facto become Turkey's eighty second province in terms of daily lives of its citizens. However, integration in security and political fields, described as "cooperation based on partnership" will be accomplished partially. Hence, the TRNC will be independent on paper. The two sides will then sign agreements to establish a common economic area similar to the one set up by the EU when it was first formed. The TRNC's laws will be harmonized with those of Turkey, which is in the process of making reforms as a preparation for her accession to the EU. The concept of transfer of sovereignty, similar to the one in the EU model, will be adopted. Legal arrangements, aimed at transforming the TRNC into Turkey's eighty second province de facto, will be completed within six months. They include the following steps:

    - Agreements on financial support to be granted by the government to finance investments; transfer of goods, capital and technology as well as economy and trade will be signed.

    - Extra taxes on exported goods resulting from the economic embargo, which add up to 13 percent, will be subsidized by Turkey.

    - Turkish Eximbank will directly support investments in the TRNC and increase the amount of credits extended to the latter.

    - The latest economic programme, which has been jointly drawn up by the TRNC and Turkey, will be put into effect and $350 million in foreign aid, $80 million of which has already been lent, will be wholly made available.

    [02] Mesut Yilmaz Briefs Denktash on NSC Decision

    According to KIBRIS (2/6/01) Mesut Yilmaz, Turkish State Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, who visited occupied Cyprus, met with Rauf Denktash in occupied Nicosia. Yilmaz briefed Denktash on the Turkish National Security Council's [NSC] decision regarding the Cyprus issue. After the meeting, Yilmaz proceeded to the ...Turkish Embassy, where he met with the so-called Prime Minister Dervish Eroglu.

    Yilmaz's meeting with Denktash was closed to the media. In a statement after the meeting, Denktash said that the NSC decision was discussed with Yilmaz. Denktash alleged that the Cyprus Government is using the EU as a weapon with regard to the Cyprus issue, and this shows that the Greek Cypriots are not in favour of a conciliation. Denktash claimed that the application to join the EU is a political move aimed at eliminating the parameters that emerged as a result of the negotiations conducted for years to resolve the Cyprus issue and at preventing the solution of the problem. He added: "I am hoping that at least some of the EU member countries will see this ploy. Otherwise, we will all feel the pain of its consequences. Everyone must realize this."

    Denktash said that he told Yilmaz that it is necessary to revive the economy, that there is a large number of bank depositors who suffered as a result of the crisis, and that this matter must be resolved. Yilmaz, in turn, listened to the matter with understanding, Denktash noted, adding: "We are thinking of a solution. Everyone is working with goodwill in order to solve this matter in a short time."

    Later on the same day, in a speech he delivered at the diploma ceremony at the "Kyrenia American University", Yilmaz said that as has been the case in the past, it is also impossible now for Turkey to make concessions over its national interests on its path to EU membership.

    Yilmaz stated: "On the contrary, we are viewing this process together with the TRNC and we are acting accordingly. In this connection, the accession of south Cyprus to the EU on behalf of the whole of Cyprus can in no way be acceptable to Turkey. What we want is the simultaneous accession of north and south Cyprus and Turkey to the EU. It is a fact that there are different views and ways of acting within the EU on this subject. We believe, however, that the EU countries and organs will not overlook Turkey's sensitivity regarding Cyprus. It is impossible to secure lasting peace and tranquillity in Cyprus, and, in this connection, in the eastern Mediterranean, in the Aegean, and generally in this region of Europe unless this sensitivity is taken into consideration. Therefore, the progress with regard to Turkey's membership in the EU constitutes a development in favor rather than against the Turkish Cypriots.

    Despite all its difficulties and adverse conditions, Turkey is exerting efforts to fulfill its commitments within the framework of its EU membership. The north Cyprus administration should also work along the same lines and exert efforts to attain EU standards in every field."

    During the ceremony, Yilmaz was accorded an honorary doctorate.

    [03] Akinci and Talat Comment on EU Accession

    According to KIBRIS (1/6/01) the heads of the EU team, which is conducting the negotiations for the accession of Turkey and Cyprus to the EU, have visited the occupied areas. Leopold Maurer, the head of the EU team and Michael Leigh, the director of the enlargement team responsible for Cyprus, Turkey, Romania, Bulgaria, and Malta met with Mehmet Ali Talat, leader of the Republican Turkish Party [RTP] and Mustafa Akinci, Communal Liberation Party [CLP] leader. Donato Chiarini, head of the EU Commission Representative in Cyprus, accompanied Maurer and Leigh in their contacts.

    Maurer and Leigh conducted their first meeting with Talat. In a statement after the meeting, Talat said: "The Greek Cypriots are talking on behalf of the whole Cyprus and conducting the process without giving any hopes to the Turkish Cypriots. Naturally, the acquis does not include any points concerning the Turkish Cypriots. The second injustice against the Turkish Cypriots, is the EU negotiation process with Turkey. The Partnership Accession Document has posed a condition to Turkey. A solution to the Cyprus issue is one of those conditions. Moreover, the Cyprus solution is among the short-term priorities. However, there is no progress to this end."

    Explaining that Sukru Sina Gurel, Turkish State Minister responsible for Cyprus affairs, said upon his return from the United States that the Cyprus bird should not be set free until the EU bird is in our hands, Talat said that Turkey intends to use the Cyprus issue as a negotiation factor.

    Maurer and Leigh later visited Akinci, who said after the meeting that the future of the Turkish Cypriots lies in Europe. Akinci continued: "The Greek Cypriots have covered great distance to this end. Greece is anyhow a member. Turkey, in turn, has already embarked on this process. Consequently, we will all meet within the EU community sooner or later. What we have to do is to cover this distance in the wisest manner and painless way and make our people profit in the best manner."

    Noting that the Greek Cypriot elections ended, Akinci said: "It is becoming evident that the UN Secretary-General will launch serious work in the coming months. We will extend support to efforts, which will be constructive and take into consideration both sides' reservations, and we expect Annan to launch such efforts. In the event that the United Nations launches such an effort, the CLP will make every kind of contribution for its success because EU membership without a Cyprus solution may prompt grave problems for both sides in the long run even though the Greek Cypriots can interpret it as a temporary gain. The coming months will be quite active with regard to the Cyprus issue."

    Leigh, in turn, said that views were exchanged on the EU process and its connection to efforts to find a solution to the Cyprus issue. Leigh further said that the two processes have a lot in common. Noting that the EU prefers to secure a solution to the Cyprus issue within the framework of the United Nations, Leigh added that the solution will lay the grounds for the Turkish Cypriots to participate in the EU accession negotiations. Leigh continued: "Under these circumstances, I am sure that the EU will then assess the issue of concern to the Turkish Cypriots as regards the EU membership. This is the scenario envisage, however, it all depends on the political demands of the concerned parties."

    Noting that they were briefed on the economic crisis in northern Cyprus, Leigh added that the impact of the Turkish economic and financial crisis on northern Cyprus and its solutions were taken up at the meeting. We have observed that certain changes had occurred on the political scene in northern Cyprus. We assessed these changes. The contacts were very productive and they will assist us in our crystallizing a clear and comprehensive understanding of the situation in the north upon returning to Brussels.

    [04] Talat Rejects Turkish NSC Decision

    According to illegal Bayrak Radio (1/6/01), Republican Turkish Party [RTP] leader Mehmet Ali Talat has said that the Turkish Cypriot side must resume the negotiations on the basis of a federation as foreseen by the 1977 and 1979 High Level agreements.

    Talat held a news conference today where he discussed the Cyprus developments and domestic issues. Also present at the news conference were RTP secretary general Ferdi Sabit Soyer, "deputy" Kadri Fellahoglu, and party officials Vasfi Candan and Kutlay Erk.

    Talat pointed out that the Turkish Cypriots are going through critical days, adding that the policies being pursued by various circles concerning the interests of the Turkish Cypriots are unjust. He charged that the EU's admission of the Greek Cypriot Administration is an injustice committed against the Turkish Cypriots. Policies must be pursued to put an end to this, he stressed.

    The RTP leader charged that Turkey, the United States, and the Turkish Cypriot side are not pursuing a policy that protects the interests of the Turkish Cypriots. He said: The Turkish Cypriots are stuck among the interests of these countries.

    Talat asserted that the Greek Cypriot side is pursuing a successful policy in connection with the EU and is advancing toward the finish line. While doing that, he said, the Greek Cypriots are reinforcing their situation. On the other hand, he added, the policies being pursued by the Turkish Cypriots helped the Greek Cypriots get to that position.

    Assessing the decision announced by the European Court of Human Rights in connection with Cyprus, Talat said that the deadlocked process for a political solution led to this decision. He stated that the confederation proposal for the solution of the Cyprus problem was not the Turkish Cypriots' proposal. Nor were the Turkish Cypriots aware of the Czechoslovakia model posited by Turkish Prime Minister Ecevit, he added.

    Talat described the National People/s Movement as an organization designed to frighten the people and recalled that Rauf Denktash admitted that he is the spiritual leader of the organization.

    For the solution of the Cyprus problem, he said, the Turkish Cypriot side must resume the negotiations on the basis of a federation as foreseen by the 1977 and 1979 High Level agreements. He recalled that the RTP posited proposals for some confidence-building measures to this end. The Turkish Cypriot side must announce that it wants to join the EU on the basis of political equality, he added.

    Talat said that he believes important developments will take place regarding the solution of the Cyprus problem if confidence-building measures are taken. He noted that he informed the EU member countries, EU institutions, the United Nations, and US officials of the RTP proposals for confidence-building measures.

    Talat asserted that the RTP cannot agree with the decision reached by Turkey's National Security Council on Cyprus.

    [05] Azerbaijan is said to be ready to recognise the pseudostate

    According to Turkish mainland «Sabah» (04.06.01), soon Azerbaijan will recognise the so-called «Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus». The paper reports that this is being discussed in Ankara and adds that so-called «officials» of the pseudostate have already informed Turkey about Azerbaijan`s intention.

    «Sabah» writes that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktash, has decided to go tomorrow to Ankara in order to inform Turkey about the recognition issue and the latest developments on the Cyprus problem.

    According to «Sabah», during the recent illegal visit of Azerbaijan`s former Adviser for Foreign Affairs, Vefa Guluzade, to the occupied areas of Cyprus the so-called Prime Minister, Dervish Eroglu told him that the Turkish Cypriots are thinking to start the recognition of the pseudostate from the so-called «Turkish Republics».

    Noting that they have «many expectations from Azerbaijan», Eroglu said : «Our wish is for Azerbaijan to solve the Karabakh problem and the Cyprus misunderstanding to end with an agreement that we want». Mr. Guluzade answered that the Turks of Azerbaijan and the Turks of Cyprus have the same problems, which are the Armenian «invasion» and Enosis (unification with Greece), concludes «Sabah».

    [06] English Baroness says that Denktash is the only person who prevents the solution in Cyprus

    According to Turkish mainland «Milliyet» (01.06.01), Baroness Sarah Ludford, member of the House of the Lords and member of the Liberal Democrats` Group in the European Parliament, has said that the Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash «is the only person who prevents the solution in Cyprus».

    Answering a question at a meeting in Hackney organised in order to support Meral Ece, a candidate of her party of Turkish Cypriot origin, Baroness Ludford stressed that Cyprus could become a member of the European Union without having solved her political problem and added the following:

    «Denktash is a dinosaur. I want to see young, democratic and rationally thinking powers which will save Northern Cyprus from Denktash and get things moving. I am sure that this renewal will bring the solution in Cyprus as provided by the United Nations».

    [07] Denktash to address the Turkish Grand National Assembly

    KIBRIS (5/6/01) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, who will visit Ankara, is going to deliver a speech tomorrow at the Senate Room of the Turkish National Assembly. The Chairman of Turkey-EU Joint Parliamentary Committee Kursal Eser, in a statement said that Denktash/s visit to Ankara carries the meaning that the Turkish National Assembly supports the finding of a solution to the Cyprus problem in which the existence of the Turkish Cypriots on the island must be accepted.

    [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

    [08] Turkey is formulating a new policy over Cyprus

    Mehmet Ali Birand, writing in the column "Opinion" with the title "We have made a solution on Cyprus harder to reach again", says:

    " The decision taken by the National Security Council (NSC) on May 29 and Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit's Cyprus policy as reflected in the Hurriyet newspaper show that Turkey is formulating a new policy over Cyprus.

    According to the new approach, which Ecevit refers to as "the Czechoslovakia model" it is clear that Turkey is now arguing in favour of two separate states on Cyprus rather than a confederation.

    The Prime Minister believes that just as Czechoslovakia split up and became two separate states of Czech and Slovakia, so there should be two separate states on Cyprus and this is how the island should enter the EU.

    The impression one gets from these statements is that Turkey has made a solution even harder to reach.

    The Turkish party to the dispute regards this attitude as a reply to statements made by Greece and the Greek Cypriots that "it will be sufficient to grant the Turkish Cypriot enhanced minority rights".

    One official in the talks over Cyprus said: "When they made the target less attainable we followed suit. Besides, when we talked about a confederation, what we meant was two separate states. Now the UN should come up with a compromise formula so that we can return to the talks." This gives the impression the new statements are a "tactical get-tough move". Former diplomats no longer in official positions but who formulated Turkish foreign policy for many years believe this approach is a major mistake. By means of this step Turkey is going against the resolutions of the UN Security Council. The UN had passed a resolution stating that only a bizonal, bicommunal and single country with a federal structure could exist on the island.

    In much the same fashion, the European Union's Helsinki decision called for a solution whereby what existed on the island was not two separate states but a single structure with Turkish and Greek communities. Turkey's new approach runs completely counter to both the EU and UN.

    If the Turkish position continues in this vein, Turkey will run up against a brick wall at the UN and show that it is not going to abide by the EU criteria and will make it even easier for the Greek Cypriots to enter Europe, if that is what is wanted.

    Foreign circles have interpreted this position as "Turkey does not want a solution and have made things even easier for Athens and the Greek Cypriots because both Athens and Nicosia have one common aim and that is EU membership. Once Cyprus is a member, and because the chances of getting Turkey to cough up blood will increase, all efforts will be aimed at giving the impression "the Turks avoided a solution".

    By adopting this position, Turkey is actually helping them. (!)

    Besides, the Czechoslovakia model is not the kind that can be applied to Cyprus.

    Czechoslovakia took the decision based on the internationally accepted principle that it can "redefine its borders peaceably".

    According to international principles and public opinion, what is wanted on Cyprus is a redrawing of the borders as a result of war.

    And this is unacceptable.

    Ankara has not taken one step to show it is not the party that does want a solution; in fact it is giving off very hardline signals. It is not at all clear where it expects to go like this.

    If it goes on this way, Cyprus looks like it is going to adversely affect all of Turkey's foreign political and economic relations this decade.

    In its foreign relations, Turkey looks to have become "confrontational". It is not a country that is looking for a solution or even looking like it is looking for a solution. Nor has it managed to convince many circles at home and abroad. On the whole, what Ankara wants to do is not clear.

    The veto threat in NATO over ESDI... Rejection of UN resolutions over Cyprus... Not living up to EU expectations over the Copenhagen Criteria... It is not clear what kind of policy this is. Are we going to become a country that is in dispute with everybody?"

    [09] Turkish Columnist Criticizes Denktash's Policy on Cyprus

    In a commentary in Yeni Safak (31/5/01) with the title: "Facts Concerning Cyprus", columnist Cengiz Candar writes:

    "If Turkey gets stuck on its way to the EU because of Cyprus, we cannot blame it all on the "non-reconciling" attitude of the Greek side and the "Greek games," and shrug off the issue. It is not enough to hold responsible Rauf Denktash or the Turkish governments only. In such a case, all the centers and individuals that make up the Turkish intellectuals and public, have a responsibility.

    All the sections, that deem Turkey's membership in the EU as crucial for the future of the country and its people, that want a state structure based on the supremacy of law, that dream of a society that has reached economic welfare, must be sensitive toward every issue that could stop the achievement of this goal. Cyprus is on top of such issues.

    In addition, Cyprus is a problem of international proportions in which Turkey has been a "party" for almost half a century. The indifference of the left-wing circles in particular to such a problem, and their "ignorance" in everything that concerns its past stages and the current stage it reached, cannot be understood or accepted.

    During the period between 1974 --date of the Turkish military intervention in response to the coup realized by pro-EOKA Nikos Sampson, with the encouragement of the Greek military junta-- and 1983 --date of the declaration of the state of "TRNC" (Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus) Turkey's interest in the Turkish Cypriot society was much greater than today. The Turkish Cypriot society was in a democratic process that was much livelier in comparison to that in Turkey. The Turks in Turkey used to envy the democratic atmosphere and environment of tolerance in the Turkish section of Cyprus. The Turkish public was aware of everything that happened in Cyprus.

    As of the mid 1980s, step by step Turkey's interest in Cyprus and in the TRNC lessened, or was forced to become less. In the mean time, the TRNC was turned into a "black money launderette," and "a casino heaven."

    The Cyprus issue was almost submitted to a single person as a "tender." Rauf Denktash... It is as if, for almost 10 years, no other Turks have been living in the TRNC apart from Rauf Denktash. The position that he adopts, becomes Turkey's position as well. There is no such thing as Turkey's Cyprus policy. It is also Rauf Denktash who determines Turkey's Cyprus policy. Those who oppose this, risk being called "enemy of the state." Whereas, the total of the votes received by the Republican Turkish Party [RTP] and the Command Liberation Party [CLP] in Cyprus, approaches 50 per cent. RTP leader Mustafa Akinci and CLP leader Mehmet Ali Talat are in favour of Turkey's joining the EU with a solution that would guarantee the Turkish Cypriots' rights. Furthermore, Mehmet Ali Talat holds Denktash responsible for the decision of the European Court of Human Rights [ECHR] which caused great reaction. However, Turkey knows nothing about these developments. Not only that, those who compete with each other in order to form "leftist" parties in Turkey, know nothing about, nor support the Turkish Cypriot left. How strange...

    When you look at it from the point of view of periphery-center relations, you will see that there is a strange situation where the "periphery" takes on the functions of the "center." This is a situation that was never observed, and was inconceivable in the centuries of the Ottoman Empire. No "beylerbeyi" [governor general] or "sancakbeyi" [governor of a province] could exercise the authority of the Babiali [the Sublime Port - the central office of the Ottoman government]. No province could take the place of the Dersaadet. The palace, in other words the "center" was the decision making authority. The opposite would indicate a very serious "state weakness."

    As for Rauf Dentkash's policy, it is no longer a secret -it is built on the understanding "the best solution is the lack of it." This has succeeded to bear results for many years. However, in the post-cold war world, it was a policy that was impossible to keep its validity or to survive. This is because the post-cold war world brought together with it conditions where international balances were reestablished and the cards were reshuffled. It was almost impossible to adapt the old policies to the new period.

    Indeed, the most crucial parts of the 1999 Helsinki Summit decisions where Turkey was declared a "candidate member" to the EU, are the paragraphs that underline the solution of the Cyprus issue. There is no point in making demagogical utterances such as "Just give it away and get rid of it," or "selling Cyprus." In the Helsinki decisions, Turkey is not invited to "sell" Cyprus. It is invited to encourage negotiations under the supervision of the UN Secretary-General in order to "solve" the problem until 2004. Because it was guessed that Turkey might drag the "solution" under the guidance of Denktash, the Helsinki decisions lifted the "precondition" of the solution of the Cyprus problem for Cyprus's acceptance in the EU.

    In fact, because the UN Security Council adopts the thesis of a "federation with two societies and two sections" that Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot leadership have been defending since 1974, Turkey had quite a few important "diplomatic causes" accumulated in its hands. However, this went against the "solution perspective," and the mentality of "the best solution is the lack of it." Upon this, there was an attempt to derail everything. Denktash withdrew from the Geneva talks for no reason, and started to stipulate "the recognition of the TRNC" for returning to the negotiations, knowing that that this would not be accepted. There was an attempt to leave Turkey face to face with an impasse that aimed to get the public caught in a "fake and nationalist demagogy" such as "either the Turkish Cypriots or the EU membership."

    There is a contradiction, but the contradiction is not the "fake dilemma" that is presented as "either the Turkish Cypriots or the EU membership." What is contradictory is:

    "Either taking a step toward the EU and becoming a democratic state of law, or continuing to pursue the policy of 'the best solution is the lack of it.'"

    [10] Turkish Prime Minister criticized for 'Not Seeing Realities' in Cyprus

    Former Turkish Foreign Minister Ilter Turken writing in Istanbul Hurriyet (2/6/01) in a column with the title: "Unending Problems in Cyprus", says the following:

    "Last week there was much activity in both northern and southern Cyprus. In the south parliamentary elections that may lead to new political entities were held and, as expected, communist AKEL won. Some observers attribute AKEL's rise to its support for more dialogue between the north and the south. AKEL, which has never fielded a presidential candidate in the past, is expected to nominate a candidate in the presidential elections of 2003 in view of its election success this year.

    Even as elections were under way in the south unpleasant developments followed each other in the north. The coalition government collapsed in an atmosphere of severe wrangling which turned into a virtual fight. The daily Avrupa was bombed. The formation of an organization called "National People/s Movement" generated tensions. Everyone was even more confused when Dervish Eroglu hinted that he was not aware of such an entity. Economic conditions in the TRNC are forcing people to tighten their belts just as in Turkey. Because of scarce job opportunities young people are busy trying to emigrate to other countries.

    The situation in the TRNC must be taken very seriously. Yet, for some reason, there is indifference in both Turkey and north Cyprus. Just as no one could predict the economic crisis in Turkey no one seems to be aware that there is a convergence of the elements of a multifaceted crisis that can erupt any time in Cyprus. The best example of that was Prime Minister's reaction to the change of government [in north Cyprus]. Ecevit can comfortably say that the government problem in the TRNC is of a democratic nature and that it is not in any way related to the Cyprus problem. His first appraisal is obviously correct. Governments change in democracies and there can be no democracy without alternatives. However his argument that the crisis in the TRNC is not related to the Cyprus problem is entirely wrong. Mustafa Akinci openly declared that he does not agree with Rauf Denktash and Dervish Eroglu on the Cyprus problem, that he does not approve their approach to the negotiations, and that this approach may be dangerous for the future of north Cyprus. It is hard to understand why Ecevit refuses to see realities. Now he has gone beyond the confederation argument and wants Cyprus to split into two states as happened in Czechoslovakia. That would be fine and such an opportunity could be created if immediately after the Peace Operation of 1974 an independent state was set up in the north and a political solution was sought in that framework. Is it not conspicuously inconsistent to argue for two separate states now that we have fewer cards in our hands after demanding a federation for 16 years and a confederation for six? Even so this argument can be a bargaining position if necessary if there is willingness to accept extensive territorial concessions.

    Denktash's response to Akinci during the debates in the TRNC was also astonishing. Denktash argues that the United States, Britain, and the EU have joined hands to condemn the Turkish Cypriots to minority status. That is not true. What they want is a federation. Obviously a federation is not as attractive a formula as the TRNC wants, but it is quite removed from minority status. Not everyone should be put in the same basket just because Greek Foreign Minister Papandreou used the word "minority" while answering questions at a conference in Washington on May 23. Moreover Papandreou also said that if Cyprus enters the EU the Turkish Cypriots will be represented in the European Commission, the EU Council of Ministers, the European Parliament, and the European Court of Communities and that Turkish will be one of the official languages of the EU. Minorities do not have such rights.

    Judging intentions from what is said can be an endless process. If you look at what Turkey and the TRNC are saying it is impossible to solve the Cyprus problem. The latest statement of the National Security Council on this issue is the best example of that. As the British say "the flavour of the cake can be appreciated only by tasting it." Only serious negotiations can decide whether a reasonable solution can be found."


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